Dan Kuhn, Putnam County clerk and election authority, has released the following information referring to political sign placement.
“Every election raises the question of where political signs for advertisement can legally be placed. A clear and simple answer is, ‘Political signs can be placed on private property only after permission is granted by the property owner.’
Along with this ‘rule of thumb’ there are also other important points to consider relative to political signs:
• It is illegal for anyone to tamper with, deface or remove political signs that have been legally placed.
• The Illinois Election Code clearly states that no political signs can be placed within 100 feet from the entrance door of a polling place.
• Placing political signs on the right-of-way of state, county and township roads is illegal.
• Some village and subdivision ordinances clearly state that no political signs can be placed within their boundaries (Lake Thunderbird has such an ordinance).
• The representatives from the people who own utility poles (Ameren Illinois, formerly known as Illinois Power Company) state that they do not authorize any signs being placed on their poles. The signs pose a safety hazard to service personnel and they will be removed.
• Environmentalists encourage that no signs be placed on trees.
It is clearly understood that the candidates themselves do not place every sign, but it is the candidate that should be responsible for them if they are placed wrongfully and it is the candidate that should take the necessary corrective action to ensure that his or her signs are properly placed.
I hope this clarifies the legalities and guidelines for political sign placement within Putnam County. These same ‘rules’ apply to organizations that are proponents of or opponents to public questions being put forth to the voters.
If further clarification or discussion is needed, please contact the Office of the County Clerk at 815-925-7129.”